If you're in the Bay Area this weekend, you have no excuse to miss out on the ultra-violent, super-high-tech spectacle of the ComBots Cup. There is nothing more metal than robots weighing up to 220 pounds ripping each other to shreds.
And if you use the coupon code "io9" on the tickets page, you get $5 off admission — plus you get entered in a special drawing for VIP seats and a pit tour.
Just check out the list of contestants — including several different classes of robots, like "pneumatic flipper," "lifter," "flame thrower" and "spinning bar." Would you root for Vlad the Impaler or Last Rites?
The full press release is below. Tickets are available here — don't forget to use the discount code "io9".
Fighting Robot Championships Hit A Milestone
International Robot Combat Vets Come Out In Record Numbers for ComBots Cup VI
San Mateo, Ca - Teams from all over the US, Canada and Brazil will be coming to California to fight for The ComBots Cup - the annual international robot combat championship now in its sixth year. The ComBots Cup is to fighting robots what the World Series is to baseball. The two-day event features robots weighing up to 220 pounds fighting to be crowned the world heavyweight champion. While the recent movie "Real Steel" thrills audiences with CGI robots, the ComBots Cup promises the real thing.
At stake for competitors is not just honor and glory, but the ComBots Cup itself, a 100lb, three-foot-high trophy that comes with the biggest cash prize purse in the sport. As seen on Discovery Science Channel's "Killer Robots: RoboGames 2011" hosted by MythBuster Grant Imahara, robot combat is enjoying a renaissance due to the burgeoning DIY culture in the US and beyond.
Simone Davalos, ComBots Cup organizer and head referee looks forward to the event every year - and not just for the robots. "What encourages us to keep doing this year after year is the crowd - a heaving morass of seething humanity of all ages and stations, frantically screaming for really loud and exciting applied physics and engineering." Davalos added that robot combat is one of the best ways she can think of to get kids and adults alike interested in science, technology and engineering. "There's something that makes fighting robots more accessible than drag racing or other motor sports. You learn very quickly about electronics, mechanical engineering, math and all around skills that carry over to school, work and life. Plus the payoff is definitely explosive!"
The newest additions to the ComBots Cup field of contestants are the robotic juggernaut from Brazil, Team RioBotz. Longtime competitors at The International RoboGames, RioBotz is showing up for their maiden
ComBots Cup voyage, and well wishers from all over Brazil and around the globe have been offering their good wishes for RioBotz' success.
"We're looking forward to The ComBots Cup! We will do well there, and make Brazil proud," said RioBotz leader Marco "Meggi" Meggiolaro. "We will show that Brazilian technology is among the best in the world."
Brazilian teams are well known for winning medals at RoboGames, and for their spirited participation and crowd-pleasing raucous victory celebrations after matches.
In addition to Brazil, Canadian team CM Robotics returns strong with Son of Ziggy, the popular, powerful heavyweight pneumatic flipper. Their previous robot Ziggy is best known for last year's robot vs. human kickoff contest against Joe Nedney, former place kicker for the San Francisco Forty Niners. Canadian companies have also taken notice of the robot combat revolution. Canadian firm Fingertech Robotics recently signed a 2-year sponsorship deal to sponsor the smaller robot combat classes.
Last year's ComBots Cup Champion, Gary Gin of team Late Night Racing, is looking to keep his title at ComBots Cup 6: "Last year we won, but it was pretty close. So this year I want come back and not leave any
doubt about who's boss in the arena." Original Sin, Late Night Racing's champion and current lead contender in the 220lb class, comes in to ComBots Cup with a 4/2 record for the year. Original Sin will
be facing off against old favorites Team Plumb Crazy's Sewer Snake and Team Hardcore's Last Rites, with up-and-coming Piedmont High School's Ragin' Scotsman looking to make a name for itself in the field. Sewer Snake is the one to beat, as Matt Maxham and Team Plumb Crazy enter the ComBots Cup with a 6-0 record or the year.
Spectators at past ComBots Cup roundly agree that robot combat, while fun to watch on television, is an order of magnitude more fun live and in person. "The big robots are great," says Alex Price, 12, of San Rafael, California "I like hearing the crashes and seeing the flames up close!".
This year's ComBots Cup takes place October 29-30th, 2011 at the San Mateo County Event Center in the Silicon Valley. Tickets are available at http://www.combots.net.